National

Chile promises Japan full cooperation in case of woman believed murdered

Kyodo

Chile promised Japan it will cooperate fully in the handover of a Chilean man sought by French authorities in connection with the disappearance and suspected murder of a Japanese woman in France.

Visiting Senior Vice Foreign Minister Kentaro Sonoura told reporters in Santiago on Monday that he secured the promise during a meeting with Jorge Abbott, Chile’s top prosecutor.

The 26-year-old suspect was put on an international wanted list after Narumi Kurosaki, 21, went missing last month in eastern France. Nicolas Zepeda Contreras is alleged to have killed his former girlfriend before reportedly returning to Chile later in December.

In separate meetings with Abbott and Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, Sonoura requested Chilean cooperation in the handling of the suspect as well as in the search for the Japanese woman and the investigation into her disappearance.

The Chilean government, taking into account the relationship between Santiago and Tokyo, “promises full cooperation in all the processes regarding the (suspect’s) handover,” Abbott said, adding that Chile will cooperate closely with Japan and France, according to Sonoura.

Munoz promised Chilean cooperation to the greatest extent possible, Sonoura said.

Kurosaki, a student at Tsukuba University in Ibaraki Prefecture, went missing in early December after dining with the Chilean man and bringing him back to her residence at a university in Besancon where she was studying.

Although Kurosaki’s body has not been found, French prosecutors say they have sufficient evidence to suspect murder.